Over the centuries, different musical instruments have evolved in China. Musical instruments in China are broadly classified according to the material they are made up of. Some of the traditional materials are silk, stone, gourd, bamboo, metal, clay, wood and skin. With time, the traditions changed and the taste of music has also marked a remarkable difference. With time, wood and stone instruments have become unfashionable. Another classification of the musical instrument is percussion, wind, and string instruments. Further, the stringed instruments are categorized as bowed string and plucked string instruments. Older time instruments include flutes, mouth organs, panpipes, long zithers, etc.
Some of percussion instruments were gongs, drums and clappers. With time, new art forms were accepted in China inspired from Central Asia such as fiddles and lutes. China has a unique blend of different types of music. Instruments used by them are too very versatile. A famous instrument in China is the Erhu, which is a bowed string type instrument. It is one of the most admired instruments in the Hu-quin family. It is basically a two stringed fiddle. It is similar to the Gao hu, another bowed string musical instrument.
Eruhu cannot play many high pitched tones thus Gao hu is used in place for higher pitched music. Brisk and vivid rhythms are performed very well by Gao hu. The tone produced by Gao hu is very bright yet louder. This is the reason it is used for both solo performances as well as for performing folk melodies. Cantonese operas are also well performed by these instruments. Another famous instrument is China is the Pipa, which is a plucked string musical instrument. It belongs to the family of lute. Basically, a four stringed lute with pear shaped body and 30 frets. Pipa is held in an upright direction by the musician. In China, the wind musical instruments are the most popular ones.
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